Toxic Ingredient Highlight: Silicone
Silicone derived emollients* (which are listed under names including cyclomethicone, dimethicone, and dimethicone copolyol) are commonly found ingredients in the majority of hair and skin "beauty" products. They coat the surface of the skin, settling in wrinkles, thereby making them less noticeable. They coat the hair shaft, making hair look thicker and glossier as well as making it easier to untangle. They are inexpensive ingredients, making the resulting product more affordable…but at what price?
Sillicone derived emollients are occlusive. They seal in impurities, sebum, and bacteria along with moisture. They interfere with the skin's ability to breathe and to release toxins (similar to the effect of plastic wrap). Recent studies have indicated that prolonged exposure of the skin to sweat (which is one of the body's ways of eliminating toxins), by occlusion, causes skin irritation. Even worse, some synthetic emollients are known tumor promoters, accumulating in the liver and lymph nodes. Is the price of your health worth it?
Silicones are also used in products such as fish tanks and bathroom caulking to prevent the passage of water (leaking). Does that sound healthy to apply to your skin?
I hear many people comment that the government would not allow such products to be sold if they were harmful. I ask them to think about the sale of cigarettes. They are well-known to be harmful, yet the government allows the sale of those, right? Remember that just because something is on the market, does not guarantee it is safe.
Make a New Year's resolution to read ingredient labels. Your body will thank you for it.
*Note: An emollient is a substance which locks in moisture, making something soft and supple to the touch.
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